Coming Apart–a four-part series

About the Artwork

“As a medical student at Emory University, I began adding sketches and snippets of dialogue to my notes as a way to spend a bit more time with the patient, to focus more closely on the patient’s expression and to try to capture the essence of our encounter. All of my sketches were unplanned and done in ballpoint pen on whatever scrap of paper was handy, from prescription blanks to paper towels. My jottings of this man’s poignant words filled several pages of a small notepad, from which I created four sequential panels in the graphic medicine style, each with a self-contained story that he shared with me.”

Alan Blum is Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace MD Endowed Chair in Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, in Tuscaloosa. A self-taught artist, he has published three books of his sketches and stories of patients, and his drawings have appeared in more than a dozen medical journals and textbooks. Many of his artworks have appeared in Pulse. He is a frequent guest speaker in medical school humanities courses. His website, featuring sketches, stories and presentations, will debut on January 1.


2 thoughts on “Coming Apart–a four-part series”

  1. I keep wondering which is more affecting, image or words. To marry them in this way is no small feat. A memorable portrait.

  2. Very moving Dr. Blum. So much hardship around us that we don’t get to see, maybe because we are not looking. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

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